Google are paying $1 for every user switched to Firefox from Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Why would they do this? Any web developer will tell you – IE is buggy, standards-incompliant, sometimes radically different from version to version and ultimately, frankly, a pain in the bum. The linked page isn’t an official Google production, but the Adsense-based affiliate scheme certainly is. I find it interesting that a publicly listed company – i.e. one that by law has to put the needs of its shareholders first – is putting so much clout behind an open source product that they don’t own. There’s clearly a lot in it for them – the linked version of Firefox contains the Google Toolbar, but I think that’s only part of the strategy.

Meanwhile, let’s put all of this in perspective for a moment; December 1st is World AIDS Day. Unfortunately in recent years a lot of funding for AIDS prevention has gone into abstinence education and other indirect programmes that have been shown to be ineffective, while people continue to die in their millions. I haven’t been political on this weblog – it’s not really the place – but I strongly believe that funding should go into medicine, contraception and direct aid. At any rate, whatever your beliefs, I’d encourage you to take some time out and read about the current situation.

Support World AIDS Day

UN World AIDS Day 2005 site

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